Computer retraining

As I mentioned in my previous post, of all of the deaths that have occurred recently, the death of my hard drive hit me the hardest. It was also the most unexpected. Talk about untimely. I only bought this laptop about seven months ago. Used though. But only slightly.

Thanks to my foresight in having married an alpha geek, I had a new (and more spacious) hard drive installed within days. But now I’m required to help my computer relearn the things it used to know. Kind of like recovering from a brain injury.

“This is a bookmark,” I tell it. “You use it to take me to a web page, so I don’t have to type in the URL every time.”

“This e-mail address I’m putting in your address book is one you used to know. It’s my best friend’s. You used it all the time; I can’t believe you forgot even her.”

“This program is called Microsoft Word. We’ll be doing a lot of therapy using Word. It’s what you need the most for my writing. Oh good, now that you’ve relearned that, I see you’re able to pull up the memory of my novel from the flash drive.”

A writer friend, upon hearing the news about my hard drive, said in an almost-stricken way “Please tell me you have your novel saved somewhere.” It’s nice when people understand.

Actually, I’d done an exemplary job of backing up my writing, so I lost almost nothing. Photos of my children, however…not as much. Bad mommy. Guilty mommy. I’m afraid some of the most important memories have been lost to permanent amnesia. I did have a lot of the pics saved, just not the same percentage I managed with my writing.

Then there were all of the cool quotations I had collected over the past few years. Ah well, time to get out of the old ruts and make some new ones anyway. And maybe time to develop better habits about backing up everything, not only my writing.

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Oh why not? Everyone else is talking about it.

Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, Iran, Twitter.  Oh, uh, hi – trying to get hits on my blog. Or would anyone like to take a break from all of those topics and read about my hard drive catastrophe? It’s compelling, but maybe only to me.

Oh, okay, I’ll spare everyone the self-indulgent hard-drive whine. For now. Meanwhile I’ll self-indulgently get on the Celebrity Death Train with everybody else.

Sometimes I wonder why so many people feel compelled to talk about celebrity deaths, even those who hate themselves for doing it. Witness the friend who immediately sent out emails to a chunk of her address book to say she couldn’t understand why her cousin always had to call her immediately to share the news of tragedies, “such as the deaths today of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.” (Have you heard?)

This particular email moved me beyond the why into the how. I find it interesting observing how we note the passing of celebrities. My teenage daughter told me about Michael Jackson. She got the news in a text from a friend. Having never sent a text message in my life, relying instead on the old-fashioned internet, I’d be lagging minutes behind on my newsfeeds if not for having a teen in the house.

My 11-year-old knew of Michael Jackson through the Weird Al connection. He only started watching MJ videos on YouTube after having seen the Weird Al parodies first. “They’re even funnier once you’ve seen the originals,” he observes.

My brother wins the prize for succinctness: “Bad week to be a celebrity.”

My friends and I stoit around among a handful of variations on the celebrity death discussion. 1.How much the Thriller video rocked our worlds when we were young, and how our kids missed out on the Jackson we knew before creepdom took hold. 2. How Michael Jackson stole the spotlight from Farrah Fawcett, who had put the fire in a generation of girls to achieve fabulous hair and kick butt. 3. The fact that we know for sure now not depend on Ed McMahon to fund a very early retirement. 4. How we should really be talking about serious issues such as the election in Iran and how journalism is forever changed. 5. Which seems to lead back to how each of us got the news about the recent celebrity deaths.